Released alongside the Emergency Mini-Con Team, this group of three jets are all triple-changers: Jet, Robot, Weapon. This is a great Mini-Con gimmick in general, as they not only unlock special weapons, but add additional firepower themselves.
Jet Mode: Without a doubt, one of the coolest Mini-Con alt modes we've seen so far. Terradive features an elongated nose, retractable landing gear, and an intense black/silver/blue color scheme. He has two Powerlinx sockets on his underside and a lot of extra paint apps and detailing. You can see the robot face and arms if you flip him over, but otherwise there's no robot parts showing. This jet looks fast, wicked, and sleek. It screams "Decepticon", even though he's technically non-aligned. The only downside to this mode is that the landing gear is very hard to pull down unless you split his nose in half, but that's minor. This jet just rocks.
Robot Mode: This mode leaves his now-hollow (and blade-like) jet nose on his back, thrusting towards the sky. It's kibble, but it's what kibble should be, adding a lot to the appearance of the character. It's impossible not to compare him to Shrapnel... except that Terradive looks better. His robot mode looks just as dangerous as his jet mode, with the same color scheme (plus a pinch of orange) and an angry, no-nonsense face. He has no elbows, but his arms are on ball sockets, allowing for decent movement, and his legs have working knees and ball socket hips. Good articulation overall. His arms have weapons mounted under them -- whether they're blades or blasters is up to you. This is not a Mini-Con to mess with.
Weapon Mode: A three-bladed dagger or a three-barreled electrolaser? It looks like blades to me, so that's what I'm going with. At any rate, it just looks menacing -- the blades are very long (since the long jet nose splits into thirds for it), hooked, and come to sharp-looking points. Put this on Megatron's wrist, and he looks just like Wolverine. If that isn't just neat, I don't know what is.
Overall: Beautiful, deadly, and cool as hell in all three modes. I have to break the rules on this one, Spinal-Tap style: 11/10
Jet Mode: Thunderwing is a gray stealth bomber with gold trim and nose. Very, very reminiscent of the recent RiD Dreadwing/Smokejumper release. He features simplistic but well-done detailing, weapons loaded under each wing, and a spinning Mini-Con port on his underside. Yes, a spinning one -- it relates to his weapon mode (below.) This actually makes for some neat play value; when he's attached to a larger robot, he can swivel to face any direction, making him useful as a radar of sorts. You can see his face and hands clearly if you flip him over, but his kibble is otherwise well-hidden. The nose is made of soft rubber instead of plastic, for safety reasons, I guess (though I wonder why they didn't do that with all of his pointy bits -- it's just as easy to poke yourself on his wingtip as on his nose.)
Robot Mode: With his wings spread out across his back, he strikes a very impressive pose. His chest is a bit odd, however. It's sort of... hollow. With the big spinning Powerlinx socket in the middle. Because of that, it looks kind of like a blaster in the middle of his chest (like the upcoming Unicron toy has.) In addition to that possible blaster, he has three mini-missle pods on each shoulder. That, and his angry visor-eyes, help make for a pretty fierce Mini-Con here. His articulation is good, with two points in each arm and leg, and he even has real hands (always a plus.) The soft rubber jet-nose hanging between his legs could allow for some bad jokes here, but overall, he's a very well done little robot.
Weapon Mode: Why can't anyone get a decent picture of this mode? The picture on the package makes it look like the remnants of a jet crash. Pics that have floated around the internet lately make it looks like (at best) a hunk of plastic with some pointy parts. I guess no picture can really capture this mode, in which Thunderwing becomes a four-pointed throwing star. The thing is, he really does look like a four-pointed throwing star! His wingtips fold back (each leaving a pointed half-wing on the sides) and merge into a sharp point in the back; the nose makes the fourth point. And when you plug him onto a Powerlinx peg, he can spin like there's no tomorrow. It's easy to imagine launching him at an enemy like that, or just using him like a saw blade in close combat. I was really surprised at how much I liked this mode, especially after seeing the pictures of it. Happily surprised.
Overall: A well-done vehicle mode and robot mode, both with impressive wingspans, and a very fun weapon mode with an unexpected spinning feature. This toy just radiates "fun". 9/10
Jet Mode: Gunbarrel is a propeller-driven bomber of some sort. He's gray, with rust and light-gray accents and... he looks pretty weird. His tail is separated in two (to better become his legs in robot mode) and it sticks up at an odd angle. This is very intentional -- the designers wanted it that way. I don't see why, as it could easily have been made to not stick up at an odd angle, like most normal planes. On top of it, the whole plane sits on a blocky piece of undercarriage (where you'll find the Powerlinx socket), which further ruins any attempt at streamlining. The cockpit is in bad need of paint apps, too -- it's almost impossible to even locate, especially with the huge hinge right behind it. Definitely not the best alt mode of the three.
Robot Mode: Not all that pretty, either. His tail sections make for skinny legs with odd "feet", his chest sticks out too far, and his face looks like a skunkbot's. On top of that, if you transform him per the instructions, his arms can only flap up and down (alongside his wing), but if you fold the wings back he not only looks better, but has normal arm articulation. I can only assume the reason they didn't do this was because it makes his robot mode only one step away from weapon mode. Still, most kids really like it when they can do more with their robots' arms than play jumping jacks. No elbows, but his legs have hips and knees.
Weapon Mode: Here's where his lame name finally makes sense. He becomes a six-barrelled gatling gun, his propellers becoming the barrels. It's very believable as a weapon, though the tail sections have to either stick up or flap around loosely. My only real problem with this mode is the barrels/propellers... one of them is painted silver, while the other five are left flat gray. This really goes a long way towards ruining the whole "cluster of gun barrels" look. If anything, it makes you really wish that they'd painted the other five barrels silver, because it looks much better! A good mode overall, though, despite its drawbacks.
Overall: This toy has some problems, but still manages to be pretty fun. The triple-changing gimmick works well and the weapon mode is still useful. 5/10
This team features some very fun toys, including Terradive, one of the best Mini-Cons we've ever gotten. The concept (of triple-changing weapons) is solid and well implemented and the toys are a lot of fun. I definitely recommend picking up this set and arming your Armada Transformers to the teeth!
|Reviewer||Reverend Pee Kitty|
|Date||June 25th 2003|
|Score||(9 out of 10)|
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